Malaysia: Clerics to rule whether yoga is “un-Islamic”

31/10/2008: The National Fatwa Council will soon announce its stand on Muslims practising yoga, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia said. (New Straits Times)

Deputy director-general of operations Othman Mustapha, however, declined to reveal the details when approached after opening a seminar on “Fiqh and Sustainable Islamic Thinking” at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) here yesterday.

It is learnt that the matter had been discussed at the council’s meeting in Kota Baru recently.

Othman was asked to comment on a statement by Professor Zakaria Stapa of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who stated that yoga’s origins could be traced back to Hinduism.

On Tuesday, Zakaria called on Muslims not to take up yoga and asked those already doing so to stop practising this art of meditation. He said practising yoga could cause Muslims to deviate from the teachings of Islam.

“I do not understand why Muslims would want to practise yoga for the purpose of finding serenity when Islam, through its teachings, enables its followers to do just that.

“Muslims should just practise what Islam has taught them,” he said after giving a lecture entitled “False Islamic Teachings in Malaysia”.

30 October 2008

By: Melissa Darlyne Chow

Source: New Straits Times

3 thoughts on “Malaysia: Clerics to rule whether yoga is “un-Islamic”

  1. What if I just use yoga positions for stretching and proper breathing? No yoga mantra. No path to serenity. Just exercise that has proven physical benefits.

    Why do Muslim leaders so often insist that if it wasn’t “invested here” it must be wrong? I know many people who practice yoga, but have never cared in the least to adopt any Hindu religion. Are we not able to think?

  2. Dear compassionate intellects, flower of my heart, brave readers,
    Swami Vivekananda said:
    “The fear of God is the beginning of religion, but the love of God is the end of religion.” (CW, VI 71.2)

    Known & Unknown history, source from Arabic Scholar it self saying Islam design many things including borrowing and copying India, Indian, Hindu Hinduism knowledge. Solat for example copied and borrowed from Yoga Sutra.
    In historical time, Muslims did consciously borrow from yoga and acknowledged the source. The traveling scholar Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (11th century) translated the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali into Arabic. Shah Muhammad Ghaus of Gwalior (16th century), a leader of the Shattârîyah order of Sufis, incorporated yoga practices into his teaching, based on the yogic text Amrtakunda. Yoga even reached as far as North Africa, where al-Sanusi (19th century) wrote of the yoga âsanas (jalsah); he referred to yoga in Arabic as “al-Jûjîyah“. Hereby source from Arab said Islam praying system design from Yoga Sutra.

    Visit blogs for more details:
    A large international yoga organization, 3HO, has adopted the sujûd from Islamic prayer, calling it “Easy Yoga.”
    Still its mystery, why Malaysia Fatwa Council fatwa on yoga for Muslim.
    Fatwa Council what un-mature attitude towards their own man kind Malay Muslim must be save from un-reasonable condition and law!
    Radiance of Universal Mind,

  3. My lecturer talked to us regarding this issue. He said that the prohibition was been made because there are some Muslim practicing yoga not knowing that they are practicing the Hindu religion itself. There is nothing wrong about practicing yoga as a form of exercise but they prohibit all forms of yoga for Muslims to avoid the Muslims with less education or information about yoga getting confused.

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